awaken, mute

not because you can
but because you can't not:
because the words
grind holes in your soul
finding ways to get out
especially if
you don't want them to

your grocery lists will rhyme
and your thank-you notes
sound like poetry
and you will hear—
coming from your brain,
in the silences between
the beats of your heart

because a controlled release
forestalls the explosion
that your creativity foretells

because the composition of phrase
makes it plausible
that order can be drawn
from your chaos


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Starting afresh

Have you ever asked yourself why you do something?

I did something today that I've been putting off for quite some time: I restarted my novel. I've known for quite some time that something wasn't right, and that I was going to have to scrap what I'd done so far, but I didn't know why. About a month ago, it came to me. My error was not in the characterization or my choice of plot, but in how the story was being told.It was to my horror when I realized that I was stuck because I'd chosen the wrong point of view. It's intended to be a character study of one woman, and in my plunging into the writing, I thought it best that I write from her point of view.

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Too many websites, too little time.

Today I got one step closer to getting back to work on my latest work of fiction. For the past two weeks, I have made the conscious decision to put my fiction work aside in favor of making good on some website/graphic design debts owed to some friends.

Admittedly, I haven't hated the work. I enjoy graphic design, site design, and all sorts of artistic conundrums. But after finishing a logo (for Brad), site designs/layouts/greymatter implementations (Kat's and Sean's sites), and another greymatter implementation (for Jessica), my brain is just about worn out.Not only have I not picked up my pen in a few days, I haven't even wanted to. The lack of desire to write tells me what I need to know; the creative portion of my brain is zapped, and needs a recharge.

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My current writing output seems determined to increase, no matter what I think about the subject. Currently on tap: a short rhymed piece I've had in mind for some time, installment #3 of the 'scribbled travelogue' series, and a short story.Writing here, via keyboard, is a bit of a relief for my writing hand, which cramps after long sessions of scrawling. I had forgotten about this particular plague of my collegiate years, until I realized recently that my best writing was still best drafted with pen and paper before being transferred to digital form. Slower, more methodical, and a more precise finished product resulted.

Thus my big spiral notebook has been seeing a lot of eye-time lately.

The rhymed piece is more painful going than the prose; the effort to concatenate meaning and image into the smallest number of words—without losing meaning, intonation, or allusion—is time-consuming to say the least.

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Quick, retrospective -

(Side note: the webcam's back up. I'll point it at the cats when they're in the room with me. Enjoy.)

Several months ago, I stopped questioning why I was writing for this site and simply got into the business of writing for it. In the end, I think it was the right thing to do; instead of wondering about my motives and my variously interesting neuroses, I decided to do what I enjoy most: the arranging, scattering, and recombination of words.In the almost-365 days since I started writing for this site last year, I've written about a little bit of everything. From dealing with marriage and death and joy and confusion, it's all here, in varying shades of clarity and obfuscation.

In my way, I had my own Walden-esque goals: to write about the things that mattered—and not just the things that matter today, but the people and events that will still matter to me ten, twenty, forty years from now.

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The inexpressible is there, for the taking

I'm going back into my book world. Let me tell you, a woman with James Joyce on the brain and Marvin Gaye singing antiwar songs in her ears is a woman buried to her eyebrows in lyricism.

I can't remember, exactly, when I started on Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, but I know that I got halfway through it and put it down in favor of reading The Lord of the Rings.

Portrait has held the topmost spot on the bookshelf closest to the window, spine facing out, toward the living room. When I water my plants, my trek to refill my water jug takes me through the reading room to the back door of the kitchen. Every day I would pass the bookshelf, and with some degree of guilt I would see the slim paperback, waiting for me to come back to it.